Councillor speaks out

Cr Prince said she was surprised the council had chosen the maximum allowance increase when so many residents were struggling with the rising costs of living.

‘After the sorrow and heartache in the community, we could have gone for a lesser amount,’ Cr Prince said.

She asked why councillors couldn’t each donate $5000 of their new allowances to a charity.

‘I started with nothing (as a councillor) 18 years ago and I’m leaving (council) in October so it (the increase) won’t help me much,’ she said.

An absolute majority of councillors passed the increases, with Cr Prince saying she ‘didn’t expect anything else’.

After the meeting, Cr Prince told the Courier she had felt at odds with her peers at the council for a ‘few years’ and it was her main reason for not standing for re-election at the October local government elections.

‘It’s always six or nine against one and if I’m that out of step it’s time to go,’ Cr Prince said.

She was the subject of a Department of Local Government code of conduct directive to apologise to the city in April for comments she made about bullying and staff turnover in 2011.

Empowered by changes to government acts in February, the WA Salary and Allowances Tribunal determined new fees and allowances for WA local governments effective July 1.

See Opinions, page 8